Monday, September 23, 2013

Respite from reality


My next chemo cycle starts this Friday. I have six cycles of FEC which sounds like some sort of mucous you would cough up during a particularly bad chest infection.

In actual fact it's an acronym for the cocktail of three drugs which my lovely oncologist has informed me will not result in the sort of severe allergic reaction I had when I had my first chemo round....oh that would be the one I haven't been able to write about here because it was so traumatic!

Imagine someone going into anaphylactic shock and that about covers it! Suffice to say that the drug that caused this reaction is not one I will be having. To add to my "special" status I also managed to have a reaction to the anti nausea medication (Maxalon) which resulted in something akin to lock jaw and a bad sense of vertigo which when combined with the buzz from all the steroids they had to pump into me made me truly want to euthanise myself pronto.

I was bedridden for five days and then improved daily the point that I was feeling dreadfully guilty (once again) for all the assistance I'm receiving with the KATs....imposter syndrome persists even when I'm legitimately unwell....I still feel like a faker...not "sick" enough...undeserving of all the terribly nice things people are doing and saying to me.

My poor KATs are naturally finding this roller coaster ride a tad tiresome and I thought they deserved a break from reality just as much as Saint Mike and I do! So a few days away have been the order of the day.

We loaded the car up with cossies, goggles, bikes and the minimum amount of clothing and drove a few hours north of Sydney to the calm and tranquility of a beachside holiday park. We have been here before years ago so I knew it was the antidote to our malady. Four days later I'm typing this as the KATs frolic in the pool....their last swim before they jump into the already loaded car for the return trip to our unwanted reality.

Oldest KAT tearfully proclaimed that it has been the best holiday she's ever had because she could forget that I'm sick and no one has asked her how her mum is. Truthfully I don't look sick (my hair is yet to fall out...cue more imposter syndrome) and I too have been lulled into feelings of "normal" heart breaks that we cannot remain in this state of blissful ignorance.

They have ridden their bikes with gay abandon, furtively admired cute boys around the park and frolicked like dolphins in the pool. I'm already plotting to return in early December to give them (and me) a much-needed booster shot before chemo round 5 on Dec 20....this time with our hard-working daddy along for the whole time!

The image I've used in this post is a mosaic garden tile that I made with Middle KAT....that was my week 2 project....I exhausted myself lifting three such concrete pavers and have been sternly instructed by my oncologist and Saint Mike to undertake less taxing creative distractions during chemo...passing out isn't a good look!

So we don our Indiana hat and march on relentlessly towards the other side of this horrible abyss....wish me luck for my mucous-like FEC regime:)



  1. Sounds like some time away was a great decision. Hope the next round of chemo goes better than the first, it really couldn't be any worse could it? x

  2. Your mosaic looks like a blue, shattered heart. Chemotherapy is a heart-breaking experience that leaves one feeling blue (I remember the effect that it had on my elderly mother). However, it seems that there is plenty of heart within your family to help put it all back together in due course. Chris.

  3. It was lovely to see you, 2 kats and Sally the cavoodle this morning at Manly. Remember how we ran out of that same ocean holding hands not so many years ago? Let's do that again once you have booted the old FBC back to oblivion where it belongs. Xx


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